You might think that you are forced to get back to your old routine as quickly as possible after having a baby, but this certainly isn’t the case. Instead, you can—and should—take your time and move at your own pace.

Check out the self-paced childbirth recovery lessons below to discover why it’s important to follow your instincts, and your body, when it comes to returning to your normal schedule after giving birth.

Don’t Push Yourself

When it comes to childbirth recovery lessons, one of the most important ones, according to Aleteia, is giving yourself the chance to wait for your body to be ready to go back to work and to your old routine.

Having a baby requires all of your time and attention, so you’ll inevitably feel exhausted and totally drained. Once you’re beginning to feel like your former self again, you can start to think about heading back to the workplace and taking more time to focus on you, in addition to caring for your little bundle of joy.

Rest, Rest, and Rest Some More

Another one of the best childbirth recovery lessons to consider is: get plenty of rest! While it can certainly be hard to focus on yourself when you have a newborn to take care of, it’s important to slow down and give yourself a chance to take care of your own mind and body through rest. After all, you did just go through the difficult process of giving birth! So, rather than worrying about what’s going on at work or how soon you’ll be able to get back to it all, take some time to just be.

Work at Your Own Pace

Most importantly, work at your own pace after giving birth. No two mothers are exactly alike, so even if you see other moms on social media posting about how quickly they felt like themselves again or how quickly they became active and got back to work, don’t let it get to you.

If you need to take weeks, months, or even closer to a year to start feeling like you’re ready to tackle more, that’s totally fine. After all, while some women feel blissful after giving birth, others develop post partum depression, and it doesn’t mean that they’re bad people or bad mothers. Everyone is different!

The bottom line is this: listen to your body and to your instincts. Rather than pushing yourself too much and too far, keep these childbirth recovery lessons in mind so that you can take your time and work at your own pace.